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Winter in Vail Preview 

Winter in Vail Preview

[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]

Following a two-month deep dive into all things Christmas, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries emerge from their holiday hibernation this weekend with the start of Winterfest on the former and a new crop of mysteries on the latter. We’ll cover the latest Crossword Mysteries, Abracadaver, separately. First up, Saturday night, Hallmark Channel premieres Winter in Vail starring Lacey Chabert and Tyler Hynes. Both just had Christmas movies, too. Hers, Christmas in Rome, repeats Saturday morning. His, The Mistletoe Secret, will roll back around in July.

Winter in Vail

In the new film, which shot in Alberta and Vail, Chabert plays Chelsea Whitmire, an event planner who’s hit a wall of self-reflection that finally topples when she’s passed over for a well-deserved promotion. Shocking her BFF Viena (Marla Renae) and taking a page from All of My Heart, Chelsea inherits a Vail chalet from her beloved late uncle and sees that as a universal sign to pack up her LA life and head to Colorado.

Her initial meet-not-so-cute with Owen Becker (Hynes) is softened a bit when he turns out to be the contractor who was mid-renovations on the chalet when her uncle died. He agrees to finish the job and they hit a friendly reset that’s made even friendlier when Chelsea separately befriends his Dad, Karl (Wynonna Earp favorite Greg Lawson) outside the family restaurant and waitress Molly (Sage Kitchen) at the local grocery.

Winter in Vail

Suddenly adrift without a schedule and a constantly-pinging phone, Chelsea has the time to figure who she is and what she wants. That’s helped by her regret about her lapsed relationship with her uncle, who was a fixture in Vail and loved by Owen and his family.

She sees what she missed and recognizes the break for the opportunity that it is. And she meets Owen at a time when she doesn’t have a preset identity, so it gives her the room to define what truly makes her happy outside of a climb up a professional ladder that wasn’t actually ticking the boxes she’d hoped for. Meanwhile, Karl prompts Owen to recognize the opportunity it presents for him, too, having tabled his own path to help out at home.

Since it’s a Hallmark movie, those plotty boxes are ticked. Fondue? Check. Ice skating? Check. Carriage ride? Check. Snowball fight? Check. Baking together? Check. A festival? Check. It’s all in good fun, though, and part of the movie’s charm.

I really like Chabert and Hynes together in this and I’d bet we’ll see them reteamed somewhere down the line. They have a kinetic, easy vibe with each other that is a lot of fun to watch.

Winter in Vail

Frequent Hallmark director Terry Ingram, who did last month’s Time for You to Come Home for Christmas, directs a script by another regular, Duane Poole–who wrote last month’s A Very Vintage Christmas for Lifetime and November’s Wedding at Graceland as well as Luke Macfarlane’s first Hallmark project, The Memory Book–and new Hallmark writer Delondra Mason (Z Nation).

Winter in Vail premieres Saturday at 9 pm/8c (note the new return to the later timeslot) on Hallmark Channel. Here’s a sneak peek.

Photos and Video Courtesy of Crown Media.

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